Monday, October 28, 2013

Chapter 3. Online thievery

    I am old enough to see the way the internet has changed. Not only is it more user friendly, (curse you Yahoo! chat IM bomb!) it has a great deal more give and take. 
    In the example of writers, in meetings on-line they have a new ability to collaborate. They can now share and refine ideas with one another. That sounds great for a literary analysis because no one really expects to make a living off of it. 
    All this collaboration is great if you are not expecting to get paid. Find an open English chat form and talk to others for advice on that ten page thesis paper about the "History of Toilet Paper". Perhaps they can advise you in a direction you never thought of. You may even experience that warm fuzzy feeling that comes from helping someone from not making that forehead dent in their desk any bigger.
    But...if you want to get paid, don't do it. Uncopyrighted material is ripe for the picking. It is plagiarism in it's worse form. You won't get credit and you won't get paid.
    Some experts believe that the on-line collaboration encourages plagiarism, especially in collages. That may be the case but not for long. Teachers are on the look out for it. If they see it, you're gone.
    Quoting is not plagiarism. You are merely barrowing a part of a work for discussion. Whether or not the author got paid or has a copyright is not your problem. Giving them credit for it is. Learn to live in fear of plagiarism, less you fall victim of it. 
    If you want to be a writer, get ready to be quoted. It won't always be flattering. There are those who will disagree with you or think you're an idiot. If you never want to be quoted, now is your time to shut up and hide in your corner.
    Understand that all ideas are universal. They seem to float around in the cosmos waiting for someone to grab them. Did you know that three people invented the telephone? If you have an awesome idea, share it. Or someone else will. 
     Did you know that those three people invented the telephone at the same time the same time? The difference was the patent. Copyright works the same way. It protects you and your work. Once you have it, no one can take your work from you. 

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